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Closer Look at Sony VAIO VGN-TX1XRP

We received a test sample of the notebook rather than an off-the-shelf product. The Sony VAIO VGN-TX1XRP began to sell in December of 2005, however, so we can give you a snapshot of its retail package:

When you hold this computer in your hands, you get the feeling it is a pocket-book or a small black folder, so tiny it is. This VAIO measures a mere 23 millimeters in its thinnest point (the manufacturer even claims it is the thinnest 2-spindle notebook in the world).

The new TX series is available in 3 colors: black (as the sample we got for our tests), white and a Sony-style Premium Blue. In the standard black color scheme the black panels envelop the silver interior to create an illusionary slimming effect. The white color scheme imparts a clean, light and gentle image, and is suggested for use by both men and women. Contrary to the sandwich-like coloring of the black model, this model is white on the exterior as well as interior of the machine. The limited Sony-style Premium Blue edition is designed in such a way that the carbon fibers are visible at close view. The carbon texture is finished with a clear blue pearl coating, so the model changes its color up to violet depending on the angle of view.

Sony’s engineers managed to create a case that not only looks superb, but is also robust and durable. The case of the TX series VAIO notebook is the result of two years of research and testing. The special carbon fiber material is more robust than a magnesium alloy.

This aviation industry material is flexible and robust at the same time, thin and hard, and also light. On the outside is a carbon-fiber film (used in aviation and sport cars) and inside is a carbon compound (employed in Tour de France bicycles): the result is the most durable of all VAIO notebooks, according to Sony’s tests.

The chromium letters VAIO are in the center of the notebook’s lid. At the edge of the lid you can see the name of the manufacturer in small letters. It was somewhat confusing to see the screws that fasten the display to the joints – Sony says the off-the-shelf notebook has them, too – but it’s a matter of personal taste, after all.

The front angles of the case are a bit rounded to give it an air of lightness. The lid curves a little where it is fastened to the joints and then smoothly transitions into the lifted cylindrical bottom on which a group of system indicators, a block of playback buttons, and a Power-On button are located. All of this is visible even when the lid is down.

The first group of indicators includes (from left to right):

  • Battery charge indicator (alight when the notebook works on the battery; blinking when the battery is almost depleted; blinking in short series when the battery is being recharged)
  • HDD activity indicator
  • Num Lock
  • Caps Lock
  • Scroll Lock
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